A Peaceful Habitation or a Hectic Home

We all desire a Peaceful Habitation, but it doesn’t “just happen”. It seems strange to say but you have to “fight for peace” if you want it to happen.

There are some wonderful verses in the Bible that speak about living in a peaceful habitation.

Is. 32:17,18 “And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever. My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.”

Doesn’t that sound wonderful? Isn’t that what we all want.

Pro. 3:33 “The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the abode of the righteous.”

Don’t we want our home blessed by the Lord? It sounds like being “righteous” is the key of both these verses. The Isaiah verse talks about the ‘effect’ of righteousness will be peace, and the ‘result’ of righteousness will be quietness and trust forever.

Righteousness seems to be the key, but what actually is righteousness? Webster says, “Righteousness is doing that which is right” and also, “free from sin”. We can do neither of those without Christ.

Jeremiah 23:6 say “The Lord is our righteousness”.

Matt. 5:6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for Righteousness for they shall be satisfied”.

Matt. 6:33 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you”.

Now we shall look at some practical ways to have a peaceful habitation, knowing that first we must have Jesus and his righteousness.

Isaiah 30:15-18 “For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, ‘In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and in trust shall be your strength,’ AND YOU WOULD NOT, but you said, ‘No! we will speed upon horses’, therefore you shall speed away and ‘we shall ride upon swift seeds.’ Therefore your pursuers shall be swift. A thousand shall flee at the threat of one, at the threat of five you shall flee, till you are left like a flagstaff on the top of a mountain, like a signal on a hill. THEREFORE, the Lord waits to be gracious to you; therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of Justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.”

AT THE THREAT OF FIVE” spoke to me as a young mama of five children. I was not to be frightened by those 5 children, nor the huge task of raising them. I was to be in control and not them of me. I had the Lord with me. These verses are encouraging on that point. Out of context but they spoke to me of this need.

Part of being in control is making wise decisions as a parent, and setting boundaries for our children. We can’t just always ask our children, in a gentle voice, what they want to do, and then go with that decision. We have to see the far reaching aspects of that decision that our children wouldn’t see.

These verses were also helpful:

Deut. 1:29-30 “Then I said to you, ‘Do not be in dread or fear of them. The Lord your God who goes before you will himself fight for you.”

Deut. 31:6 “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear or be in dread of them; for it is the Lord your God who goes with you; he will not fail you or forsake you.”

I am going to share some thoughts from a diary from May 4, 9, 11, 1978. I was 46 years old. Becky was married and Jane was to be married in June.

[Editors Note: These particular dairy entries were not included in this typed talk.]

Longer term lessons learned from those hectic days.”

  1. Listen to God. What is it he wants me to do.

  2. Talk it over with Dick. Get his approval and support before undertaking. Learning more and more God uses Dick to protect me as I submit to him.

  3. Learning to say No to things PEOPLE ask me to do – if not in line with what the LORD has already shown me I should be doing.

  4. Remembering – His burden is light – Whose am I carrying? Matt 11:28-30

  5. Most important what God thinks of us – not peers and relatives etc.

  6. Learning to take moments of time for myself (what brings me peace)

  7. Take positive steps toward peace – it won’t “just happen”. Lev. 12:14 Strive for Peace with all men.

Striving for peace also could involve some “fighting” for peace. Right now there are so many good things in the world to ‘fight for’ and so many bad things we need to ‘fight against’. Just reading Dobson’s Citizen magazine can really get you riled as to the sin in the world. It can give us a restless, disturbed, fighting heart that we need to turn over to God, in order to be the “peacemaker” in our home. We need to deal with our own restless heart before we can bring peace to our family. We need to ask God to help us with this, as we are called to minister to our family.

Yes the world is changing. When I first wrote this lesson in 1978 life was different that it is now. But we must remember that “Jesus is Changeless”. His truths are changeless. His truths remain the same throughout all the generations.

Heb. 13:8 “Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.”

Psalms 145:4 “One generation shall laud thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.”

Ecc. 1:4 “A generation goes and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever.”

Learning the difference between Hospitality and Entertaining. Martha was “entertaining” Jesus. Mary was showing “hospitality”. How often do we do the same – wanting the ‘best’ in the name of honoring our guests, but making our family crazy and really doing it in the name of ‘pride’.

Something comes to mind that I learned at one of the first retreats I had ever been to. At the final meeting I could hear women working in the kitchen, behind the scenes. The Lord spoke to my heart saying, “These women have worked hard to make this a pleasant and restful retreat for you. Now you are to go home and work hard to make your home a special retreat place for your family.”

A friend sent me an article quite awhile ago entitled, “What Makes Your Home a Sanctuary?”. It was from an article in the Chicago Tribune and written by Michele Weldon. Now these aren’t thoughts from a Christian paper, but I think they are very true and very noteworthy, and some things that would be helpful for us to apply to our lives.

You can sense it immediately when you walk through the door. There won’t be a sign, or brochure in the front hall. But if it’s there, you can feel it through you; it is nearly palpable, a smell, a feeling, a radiance, a calm. When a home is a spiritual place, it feels real as a golden retriever curled at the foot of a favorite chair.”

(Now we might mean something different than she does by a “spiritual” place, but we want a home that Jesus is present, and that presence is pervasive in our home to others.)

Continued: “When you walk through the threshold of your home, you feel you are safe. Even gardens for a lot of women are their sanctuaries. It is essential to create a small space, a place of retreat. Whether it’s a room, a tent in a yard or a chair with a walkman, it’s a place where I need time for myself in order to be a better human being. When you are out of balance and life is chaotic, and you walk through the door and can’t find a place to sit down, then you are robbing yourself of serenity. My home was always a sanctuary, and I knew everything was OK as soon as I walked in the door. I want my kids always to feel safe when they come home. It’s my special place. It’s where we belong.”

If we can create this kind of a home, it will be one where your children will want to invite friends to come.

To be happy at home is the greatest gift life will ever present to us.”

We hear a lot about “peer pressure” these days, mostly in relation to our children. But I think peer pressure has a lot to do with our having a peaceful habitation. And that is “our” falling in the trap of “peer pressure”. Do we fall into the same trap as our children do?

  1. Wanting everyone to like us. It is a favor to tell our children that no, everyone is not going to like them. Then they are not so shocked and hurt when someone doesn’t.

  2. Trying to please everyone – keep everyone happy.

  3. Not wanting to say no for fear of rejection.

Let us set an example for them as Jesus is our example. We don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Perhaps someone will be affected adversely by my saying no. Yes that might be likely. Good words on this in Oswald Chambers My Upmost for His Highest, January 11th.

[Editor’s Note: Oswald passage not included in typed talk]

Sometimes we get too busy for our family by doing everything everyone else wants us to do. The little booklet “Tyranny of the Urgent” is very helpful on this point.

Remember this, “The Need is NOT the Call”. So many needs, but we are not called to them all. Only Jesus can show you what is the most important and what He desires you to do.

How do we get all the things done on our “to do” list?

  1. Let Jesus make your list.

  2. Do only what He gives you strength to do.

  3. Do it in the calm manner that he would do it.

There are also allusions – mirages that the world would have us believe.

  1. There will be more time later (60min Father, Cat in the Cradle, Greatest Man I Never Knew)

  2. I shall always be this age. Remember we all have just one year at each age. Remember being 7, 14, 21. And suddenly you are a mother-in-law and then a grandmother and you feel the same inside.

  3. I’ll be a big nothing if I don’t – do this, join this, have this person over, etc.

  4. My child will never be able to play in Jr. High or High School sports if I don’t start him out in preschool sports teams.

Can I trust God to help me in these areas?


The world and common sense say one thing. But God often says the opposite. Sounds crazy – but makes for a happy exciting life, full of glad surprises along the way.

Oh may we follow Jesus in his guidance to make our homes a Peaceful Habitation.


Nine points for raising your children for the Lord

These are just some preliminary points. It’s important to note that you don’t have to know all the answers. We raised our children leaning hard on James 1:5. You don’t have to be afraid of them or of raising them correctly. Let nothing terrify you (Duet. 31:6 and I Peter 3:6).

1. You must know Jesus yourself and have Him living in you. Keep check on your own life in the Lord (Galations 2:20). Is it as fresh and alive as it always has been? (Revelations 2:3-5). Are you spending time daily with the Lord in personal devotions and in the Word?

2. It is important to have a Christian spouse. (II Corinthians 6:14)

3. It is important to attend church regularly and worship together as a family. Dick strongly encouraged the children to sit with us in church and now it is a habit and we do it out of love and joy for each of us. Make sure you are sensitive to the needs of your children in choosing a church. Avail yourself to what the church has to offer. But be most sensitive to that little seed of God in your child and watering it and nurturing it and not be so concerned about what he/she is participating willingly in, in church. Beware of your own pride at this point.

4. Family Devotions. We really feel that faithful daily devotions, especially when the children were small, was a key factor in the building of faith in our children. Be creative with what you do and where you have it. Try the fireside in winter or outside fire in the summer with kerosene lamps. Children are sensitive to atmosphere. Do things of interest to children. Devotional stories, singing, sharing, praying… We also went through all the Laura and Mary stories with one chapter at the beginning of our devotions. Do not let TV rule your time but be aware of Eph. 6:4 and consider the children also.

5. Use daily life to teach them. Joys, sorrows, problems… all with the purpose of teaching spiritual truths (Duet. 6:6-7). As we talked through these points with our children it seems they all felt this point was the most important in their growth. That Jesus was made real in our daily life, and was interested in their daily concerns. As Bart said, “I heard about the miracle of God at Sunday School. About prating the Red Sea, etc., but when He helped me find my lost math book, that was a miracle that I could see.”

If we never laugh or are big grouches spending most of the time yelling at the kids, kids see that following Jesus is no fun and just for sourpusses. John 10:10 has no meaning for them.

If we worry and fret about not enough money, taxes and what the world is coming to– kids see that we cant cast all our cares on Him. That when the chips are down we don’t rely on Jesus. I Peter 5:7 must be real to them. Share family financial problems. If you don’t share the problem with the children they will never rejoice with the answer.

Two verses that we raised our children with and what we consider companion verse are I Thes. 5:18 and Romans 8:28. Learning to pray when bad things happen and saying “Thank you Lord for allowing this to happen and help me to see the blessing in it.”

Making Jesus a part of everything in their lives from finding lost articles, to praying before a shopping trip, before taking a trip in the car, tests at school and class elections, broken hearts and all the hurts and relationships at school, the things they are desiring and friends who are hurting, and the athletic events they are participating in. In fact, ANY AND EVERY part of their life.

As you look for help in the Word don’t be afraid of using the concordance, or saying you don’t know the answer but you will look and see what the Bible says.

6. Pray daily for your children (James 5:16). Let them know you are praying for them. Ask them for requests and soon they will give them to you freely.

7. Be willing to ask for forgiveness and admit mistakes and ask for God’s forgiveness for yourself.

8. Follow God’s plan for discipline. Love them enough to discipline them. It will be harder to accept God’s guidance and discipline if they haven’t experienced yours.

9. Have fun together as a family and make Jesus the center of whatever you are doing! 


Two verses that mean a lot to Dick and I in raising our children and which verse we are seeing fulfilled as we see our children marrying Christian spouses and raising children for the Lord.

Psalm 128 “Blessings on all who revere and trust the Lord, on all who obey Him. Their reward shall be prosperity and happiness. Your wife shall be contented in your home. And look at all those children. There they sit around the dinner table as vigorous and healthy as young olive trees. That is God’s reward to those who revere and trust Him. May the Lord continually bless you with heaven’s blessings as well as human joys. May you live to enjoy your grandchildren and may God bless Israel.”

Jeremiah 32:29 “And I will give them one heart and mind to worship me forever, for their own good and for the good of all their descendants.”

Email sent February 28th 2015

Below is one of the last emails Grandma Rosy sent to her family before her stroke. This one of thousands of emails that were sent with the hope of encouraging those around her.
Hi Dear Family,
 I wanted to tell you about today and the “glad surprises” all day.  I felt very good last night and was hoping it would last until today  and it has.  The Lord had special words for me in Jesus Calling this morning,Feb.18.  As I have told you before, the Lord had been speaking to my heart the words,  “I Will Be With You”.   And I told you he said the same words to my heart when Dick was going thru the Brain tumor drama.   Not that all was going to be OK  but that He would be with me.  And that was enough then, and it was enough now.  Also He had been giving me great Peace, and Peace seemed to be the key word.  Prior to that Hope was my fixation perhaps,  but it was as tho that was not as important,  and I just felt covered in peace.
Yesterday morning, during our devotional time Bryna called and it was so good talking with her.  Her kids hadn’t come yet so she had a few min. to talk.  Then when she hung up Dick handed me a little bookmark that had been in his devotion book and it was Rom. 15:13, Bryna’s favorite verse.  “May the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in Hope.”  I called Bryna right back and felt it was a confirmation for her, of that verse, but that it wasn’t really for me,  as Peace was my gift at the time.  But I soon realized that the “hope” was for me.  And that the Lord was giving me back “Hope” and it made me excited.  I still have peace but I have that with hope.  Then I told you about the day yesterday, but today was so special.
As I read Jesus Calling the first words were “I am with you,  (I couldn’t believe it and was so excited).   The whole message is so good and I know that many of you read this devotional.   But these are some of the words that stood out,  “These four words are like a safety net, protecting you from falling into despair.  Because you are human you will always have ups and downs in your life experience.  But the promise of My Presence limits how far down you can go.   ………Yet as  soon as you remember that “I am With You” your perspective changes radically.  ………. you recall that not only am I with you,  “I am holding you by your right hand.”  I told you that too yesterday that even tho I had been in a pit, so to speak I felt the Lord holding my hand. So that was such a good start to the morning.
Just wanted to you know that Hope has returned,  and Peace is continuing.  It is Well with My Soul, keeps going thru my mind and I love that song.  “When peace like a river attendeth my soul”.  And Peace and Hope are flooding my soul.  Just wanted you to know I am in a good place, and thank you all for praying for me.  
Much love, 
Mom/Gr. Rosy/Rosy


After saying “yes” to many things during the Spring, we get into our Summer season. Oh yes, we are blooming… we are enjoying what we are doing and our self esteem is going up as we get compliments on the good jobs we are doing. But we start hearing from our children, “You’ve been gone three nights in a row. When are you going to stay home?” They start saying “Who is sick?” when they see a cake you have baked or cookies you have made, knowing it wouldn’t be for them. What started out as fun and challenging is turning out to be a drag and hard work and you start thinking “I’ll be glad when this is over!”

Do we get so busy in the Summer season that we don’t have time for our family? We begin to hear, “You said you were going to fix this…. do this… talk more to me about this… but you never have time.” They said, “I have tried to tell you but you didnt listen, you were in a hurry.” Soon we dont have quite the excitement for the job as we did in the Spring when we said yes. This is why you need to ask the Lord BEFORE you say yes. He knows what it will entail and what it will cost your family. He knows better than you how much you can handle. You might say, “Ok, I didnt ask the Lord or get his OK for what I’m doing but the results are good. Isn’t that what is important?” NO. The bible has some strong things to say about “Doing a good job but neglecting our family.”

I Timothy 5:8 “If anyone does not provide for his relatives, especially for his own family, he has disowned the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

One of the strongest examples is the story of Eli: 1 Samuel 2:11-12 “And the boy (Samuel) ministered to the Lord in the presence of Eli of the priest. Now the sons of Eli were worthless men, they had no regard for the Lord.” Now there was a priest at the temple of the Lord He was serving the Lord and doing a good job, wasnt that enough. He had worthless sons who didnt love the Lord, but that wasn’t Eli’s fault was it?

I Samuel 2:22-2 1 Samuel 2:22-25  “Now Eli, who was very old, heard about everything his sons were doing to all Israel and how they slept with the women who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting.  So he said to them, “Why do you do such things? I hear from all the people about these wicked deeds of yours. No, my sons; the report I hear spreading among the Lord’s people is not good.  If one person sins against another, God may mediate for the offender; but if anyone sins against the Lord, who will intercede for them?” His sons, however, did not listen to their father’s rebuke, for it was the Lord’s will to put them to death.”

I Samuel 2:34-35 “and this which shall befall your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, shall be the sign to you; both of them shall die on the same day. And I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who shall do according to what is in my heart and in my mind; and I will build him a sure house and he shall go in and out before me anointed forever.”

Do we become so busy during our summer season that we don’t have time to restrain our children or even love them properly? I shall give you a personal example of this and what the Lord showed me:

Becky was in Bible School, Cindy and Jane in High School, Bart in Jr High and Pollyann in grade school. Dick and I had been asked to be counselors at a Young Life camp and we said yes. We were done for the weekend and left the older children in charge. Monday after the camp weekend I got a knock on the door and it was a policeman. He said, “Do you know what your darling children were doing this weekend? Oh my, I didnt like the tone of his voice. My children were darling but he was being very sarcastic. He said they had pulled out a stop sign and were stopping cars and then squirting them with whipped cream and then jumping back in to the bushes. It was night time and very dark, and apparently they had left Pollyann home alone sleeping.

When the children came home I told them of the visit. They were very honest and said that yes, they had done that and also their cousin Jim Tobiason was with them. They said they had found the stop sign in the woods behind our house and the whipped cream bit was from some movie that was popular at that time. They were very sad and hadn’t meant to do anything bad. Well, I went to the police station and talked to the policeman. He really was a nice man and realized it was just in fun but he said it could have been serious and we should make the children realize that. So Dick and I talked with them very seriously and told them they had to take the sign down to the police station, and apologize to the policeman and say they will never do such a thing again. They did and it seemed like it worked out OK.

But the next day I went to Bible Study Fellowship and we were studying Genesis and it just happened to be in Genesis 34. Jacob was so busy away serving the Lord that he was not aware of what his sons and daighters were going. One of the questions was, “Are you sometimes so busy serving the Lord that you do not know what your children are doing?” Oh my, did that hit home!

It also taught us some lessons. We would concentrate on raising our own children and “do camps” for other children after ours were raised.

Some things I have learned from Grandma Rosy

Guest writer: Mali Jane

Earlier this month I was reflecting on my 28 years with Grandma Rosy and decided to make a list of things I have learned from her….

1. How to pray for and anticipate my husband

When I was 16 my first longterm boyfriend ended our relationship, leaving me heartbroken and devastated. Everyone was very encouraging and understanding, but Grandma Rosy took it upon herself to ensure I didn’t become bitter and that I still held a vision for my future husband. She invited me over and sat with me as we created a list of “needs and wants” in a future husband. This is something she did with each of my aunts when they were younger and still has copies of those lists. We wrote things about the kind of husband and father I wanted him to be, how tall he might be, the sports he liked to play, and even the kind of relationship I wanted him to have with my family. I remember giggling when she made me end the list with “good lover”. She was never shy about the importance of a good sex life. I held onto this list for 7 years until my wedding day when I gave the list to Rylan and let him know I have been praying for him and waiting for him since the day I sat at Grandma Rosy’s kitchen table at age 16. When I think back on that list I realize it allowed me to give my dream of a husband to the Lord and trust that He would provide the perfect person. And he did. Rylan embodied every single “need and want” on that list…. except for one thing: he isn’t very musical. But I have to give the Lord credit because Rylan sure does try… it just doesn’t always sound that great. I guess that’s a good lesson on praying for specifics 🙂

2. The importance of morning quiet times

Anyone who knows Grandma Rosy has heard the importance of having time with the Lord in the MORNING. She was forever diligent about her quiet times each morning and passed this routine onto her family members. I now love and benefit from time each morning with the Lord reading, praying, and journaling about my thoughts and concerns. This is a lesson that will impact me every day for the rest of my life. What a gift.

3. The love of snail mail

After years of receiving and sending mail with Grandma Rosy I have learned to love the thoughtfulness of a hand written card. Emails are nice and text messages are ok, but getting a letter in the mail means someone took special time to send you their love and thoughts. And although Grandma Rosy’s handwriting was challenging to read at times 🙂 I could always sense her warmth and genuine care.

4. How to keep romance in your marriage

I wont go into too much detail on this one, but I will say that I never doubted Grandma Rosy’s passion for Papa and the importance of enjoying and pursuing your husband intimately. This has been a gift to my marriage, and I am sure many others.

5. An appreciation for my Norwegian heritage

Whether it was the unique spelling of my name, special desserts, or holiday traditions, I have always loved the way Grandma Rosy celebrated our Norwegian lineage. Grandma Rosy’s lefse was always the first thing consumed at family parties and I loved when she showed up in her bunad. Even though I have never traveled to Norway, I hold a lot of pride for being Norwegian and hope to continue some of those traditions with my family as well.

6. The power of prayer

I think it’s safe to say that Grandma Rosy has been our Prayer Warrior. Everyone knows that when you have a need or desire, to come to Grandma and she will join you in prayer. For some reason, it always felt that if Grandma was praying for something… it was more likely to be answered with yes from the Lord. She would also have a list of verses or a bible study concerning the topic you were struggling with. What an amazing example she was for taking your concerns to the Lord and seeking His word for guidance.

7. The importance of leading others to Christ

I wish I could get an approximate number of the people Grandma Rosy touched throughout her lifetime. What I do know is that it was worldwide, spanning generations, languages, and faith backgrounds. She was involved with Young Life, Agros, women’s groups, retreats, Moldovan ministries, Soup and Surprise, cancer care groups, and numerous other groups of people wanting to gather and learn about God’s love for them. This example is what sparked my desires to lead others through bible studies and also be involved myself. Today I have a wonderful group of women in my life that meet weekly to encourage each other in life and in our walks with Christ. I also lead a group of college women who had the privilege of hearing from Grandma Rosy last Spring. It was through her example that the Lord called me to live in a similar way, gathering together to encourage each other in the Lord.

8. How to set a beautiful table

Whether you were visiting Grandma Rosy for tea, lunch, dinner, or just a quick hello, the table was always set. The napkins matched the table setting and the middle of the table was always adorned with a lovely centerpiece (usually flowers from her garden). She always knew how to make someone feel welcomed and special in her home. This is a tradition I enjoy carrying on in my home today when hosting guests for dinner or just dessert. Although my centerpiece comes from the store since I didn’t pick up her gardening skills, I think of her as I set the table in hopes of making everything lovely.

This short list only includes some of the things I have learned directly from Grandma Rosy. So many more things have been/ will be taught to me through my dad and mom, aunts, uncles, and cousins, as they bless me with the things they learned from our sweet Grandma Rosy.


The Blessing

Numbers 6:24-26 “The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you; The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

When my children were young someone told me about laying my hands on their heads when they left in the morning and giving them the Numbers 6:24-26 blessing. They said they did this and it was a blessing to their children and to them. So I decided to try it. I know Pollyann was about four, so the others were probably somewhere between four and thirteen. I cant remember how many years this went on but I remember they were in Jr. High and High School and I was still doing it. I would lay my hands on their heads when they left for school and give them the blessings from Numbers. I remember Pollyann was about four or at least before kindergarten, because I can still remember the day so clearly when she and several friends went out the front door to play. And she opened the door again and popped her head in and said, “Mama you forget to give me your blessing”. So I laid my hands on her head and gave her the blessing to the wide eyes wonderment of the friends standing with her. She didn’t want the older children to get something she didn’t have.

I can also remember as they got to Jr. High days thinking maybe they were getting too old and didn’t want me to do this any more… only to have them remind me that I had forgotten. I really think it did help give them a sense of peace going out and that the Lord would be with them. I encourage you to try it. Be doers of the word. It is scary to send our children out into the world and to a day at school (or work) not knowing what they may face. Not only does it give them something, it gives us an extra assurance that yes the Lord will be with them.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes.

This entry was posted in Family.

Summer at Wollochet- 1963

The summer of 1963 was a special summer for us. We took our children and spent the summer at a little cabin belonging to Dick’s folks, located on Wollochet Bay. It was the same place Dick had spent summers when he was a child. Our children were ages: Becky 8, Cindy 6, Jane 4, Bart 2, and I was expecting a baby in November.

It was the first summer of many but took a little courage to do it the first time. We took them away from their nice house in University Place, their friends, and to a little place, with no TV, no telephone, and they were not involved in any summer sports activities. It was a very small cabin with one little bedroom that Dick and I used. The girls slept up in the attic and Bart in a little closet. It had a window and a sliding door but it was the size of a closet and just fit the crib.

It took two weeks for the children to settle into the relaxed easy life style that we wanted, and before they stopped saying, “What is there to do?” I felt sorry for people who only had two week vacation and then had to get back “into the pace”. We really had a wonderful time and below is a memory I wrote during that summer…..

September 7, 1963- It’s hard to believe it is moving day already and we have stayed a week longer than that. We have been so glad we stayed this extra week as the weather has been the nicest we’ve had all summer. It is just gorgeous today and it will be hard to leave later on in such nice weather. We have been packing and hauling all morning. Now the little ones are sleeping and Becky and Dick are walking on the breach. I thought this would be a good quiet time to do this writing and start scrubbing the cabin out when I am through. I am sitting on the cabin porch writing, look down Hales passage and it’s beautiful. Blue skies, sunshine, little breeze up here, seagulls calling, small waves lapping the beach and the sound of a motor boat once in a while.

It’s hard to find the right words to describe what the summer has meant to all of us. I know it has been the most wonderful summer I have had in my whole life. Even though the weather wasn’t too good we had such a wonderful, relaxed, restful and fun summer. Each day seemed like a precious experience that you just wanted to grasp and not let go. I had felt so close to God, to Dick, and to the children. I think we all sensed this closeness and enjoyment together of simple pleasures.

Becky’s swimming really improved this summer. She can swim about 10 strokes to the raft and swim on her back awhile. What fun they had playing in that cold water. Then when the tide came high in front of George’s house, they had so much fun playing in the sand. Digging swimming pools and letting the tide fill them up. It was so cute to see all those little bottoms sticking up in the air while they were digging so industriously. What a change in Cindy over the summer as well. At the beginning of the summer she was thin and sick from getting her tonsils removed, but now she is has gained some weight, has color on her skin, and is looking healthy. Jane had such fun too, still trying to keep up with the others but thinking of plenty of things to do on her own too.

Little Barty was such a joy to us all this summer. Running around much of the time in his short ragged jeans and now he is as brown as a berry. He has kept us amused with his singing, which he picked up from listening to us. His favorites are, “Holy, Holy, Holy”, The Bible, He lives, and Now I Belong to Jesus. We’ll always remember the fun we had on the hayride and the fun working on and presenting the Indian Pageant.

I think one of the happiest memories for all of us will be the wonderful times we had together in the evening for our family devotions. We either had these by the bulkhead fire or fireplace in the living room. Before we started devotionas I would read a chapter from the Laura Ingalls Wilder series. We are now on the 4th book. Dick and I enjoyed theses stories as much as the children. Then Dick would read a chapter from the devotional book, “Happy Acres”. We finished it this summer too. Then we would ask questions and each person would offer a prayer. It was so sweet to hear the dear prayers of these little children. Then often we would sing together all the songs the children knew, especially when we were on the bulkhead. Many times Dick sang, “The Stranger of Galilee”, for us from the Haven us Rest songbook. It was so beautiful to hear him singing in the dark, by firelight with the waves lapping on the beach. 

The kids really enjoyed the rope swing Dick made for them up in back. Not only our kids but all the neighborhood kids as well. Walking together on the beach, hiking on the country roads, swinging in the hammock, sitting on the porch just looking, going to Gig Harbor to do our shopping, are all things we have enjoyed. The kids have enjoyed riding bikes or walking to Ed’s for a little candy, playing in the attic on rainy days, playing with the Dahl girls and just goofing around in general. 

We hope we have impressed on the children too, the face that we have been so terribly happy here in this little cabin, and that if we should sometime not have our pretty house in town, we could be just as happy together in a little house…. that a home isn’t a big house, but all of us together with Christ in the center, doing His will. 

I think we all feel an overflowing of thankfulness to God for allowing us to be out here this summer and keeping the children safe from harm. It is all our prayers that we will be able to spend many more summers out here- just as wonderful as this one has been. 

The Joy of Eating Together

I want to encourage you to take time to eat together with your family. January is a great time to start new habits and traditions and this is one to carry out throughout the entire year! I believe this is an important tradition of the past that is often lost in the busyness of life. It will take time, along with a little work and planning. You may have to slow down the pace of life and say no to others things to be successful. BUT I really believe it’s worth it and your family might even enjoy it once they got used to it on a regular basis.

The Bible speaks much of “eating” together, “fellow-shipping” together, and “suppering” together. It must be important since God speaks of it often in the bible and gives many example of Jesus doing it.

Here are a few of those references:

Perhaps the one we think of first is Revelation 3:20 “Behold I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him and he with me.”

I love that verse. Jesus thinks it’s important enough as he talks really about salvation, of allowing him to enter our life, that he speaks also of sitting with us and “eating” a meal. What a meal that would be! The food would not be important, “but every word that proceeds from the mouth of God”. That should be our example too as we “sup” with others. The food is not to be the prime purpose, but instead visiting, listening, loving, and just being together.

Acts 2:42 “And they devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and fellow-shipping, to the BREAKING OF BREAD and the prayers.”

John 21:9-14 “When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish lying on it and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” So Simon Peter went abroad and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three of them; and although there were so many the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, ‘Come and have breakfast.’ Now none of the disciples dared ask him, ‘Who are you?’ They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.”

Revelation 19:9 “And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage support of the Lamb.”


*Side Note from Mali:

Reflecting on Grandma Rosy’s words reminded me of all the wonderful prayers we sang and said around the dinner table as a family. I have several in mind that are Norwegian but I have no idea how to spell the words 🙂 But here is one the whole family would sing together….

The Lord is good to me, and so I thank the Lord

For giving me the things I need, the sun and the fun, and the family

The Lord is good to me…. amen, amen, amen, amen, amen…..amen. Hallelujah!